The Indianapolis Colts signed free agents Frank Gore and Andre Johnson in March. Both have previously acknowledged that Andrew Luck’s presence and the team’s seemingly wide-open championship window played a role in them signing on with the squad.
As a first-hand witness of Luck’s greatness over the past three years, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton knows how special it is playing for such a gifted quarterback:
“Everybody wants to play with Andrew,” Hilton said, per ESPN.com’s Mike Wells. “He’s a free-agent magnet.”
It’s also reported that Gore spoke with Hilton prior to signing with Indianapolis. This came immediately after the Pro Bowl running back spurned an offer from the Philadelphia Eagles.
“I called T.Y. and said, ‘Tell them I’m interested,’ without even knowing if they were interested in me,” Gore said. “I figured out they weren’t happy with Trent (Richardson) during the season. I had watched from a distance as they continued to get better every year and they had one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Andrew, but I didn’t know a whole lot about the organization.”
Johnson was also thrilled once he signed with the Colts:
“That was the big thing,” Johnson said in March, per the team’s official website. “I wanted to go somewhere with a stable quarterback. The thing about Andrew, he’s going to be around for a while. He’s a heck of a player. I think he’s a very special player. I can’t wait to get to work with him.”
Johnson joins a deep pool of capable wide receivers and tight ends, all of whom will be vying for Luck’s passes this season. Considering the fact that Luck passed for over 4,700 yards in 2014 and could possibly cross the 5,000-yard threshold in 2015 means there will be plenty of passes to go around.
As for Gore, it would not be surprising to see him churn out another 1,000-plus rushing yards as he did in eight of his 10 seasons in San Francisco.
Both players have to consider themselves fortunate for the experience of playing with one of the NFL’s most promising quarterbacks. Hopefully for their sake, the Colts can make it to a championship in the next couple of seasons, especially considering Johnson and Gore are in the twilight of their careers.
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